PSL Introduces Cup Championship With No Promotion And Demotion

Local Premier Soccer League (PSL) has introduced a Cup Championship with no promotion and demotion which means clubs are guaranteed at least two seasons in the top-flight.

Authorities said they decided to go with a Cup Championship as the shortest and cheaper way of returning to football after a year’s sabbatical.

In returning to football this year, the PSL has applied for a variation of the bio-bubble concept, a hosting arrangement for sporting events that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic, under which events are held at a centralized site, often behind closed doors, with strict quarantine and safety protocols in order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus

The new competition replaces the conventional 18-team league and will see teams placed in groups with the Cup Championship being hosted by four cities, Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare and Zvishavane.

PSL chief executive Kenny Ndebele told the Daily News yesterday that with the presence of the coronavirus, it’s easier to manage a small group and observe the protocols rather than having nine games played across the country. He added:

We chose to use the stadia that had been in use already because it would take us a lot of time to get the grounds up and running given the fact that some of the local authorities have been hit hard by the pandemic.

Getting the grounds back to the required state would take a bit of time that is why we settled for Barbourfields in Bulawayo, Mutare’s Sakubva and National Sports Stadium in Harare.

We skipped Rufaro and we might go with Harare’s Morris Depot or Baobab Stadium in Ngezi depending on what comes out of the inspection.

Ndebele added that the premiership clubs have not been generating any income in the last 12 months hence the new competition remains a cheaper alternative.

He also said the PSL will be negotiating with several television broadcasters to live stream matches which will help bring revenue to the clubs.

The Cup Championship is scheduled to begin next month with the provisional date being the 15th. Teamas are grouped as follows.

Group 1:

  • CAPS United,
  • Dynamos,
  • Harare City,
  • Herentals,
  • Yadah and
  • ZPC Kariba.

Group 2:

Group 3:

  • Black Rhinos,
  • Cranebrone Bullets,
  • Manica Diamonds and
  • Tenax while

Group 4:

  •  FC Platinum,
  • Ngezi Platinum Stars,
  • Triangle United and
  • Whawha battling it out in Zvishavane.

Added Ndebele:

It is a Cup Championship with no promotion and demotion. The reason why we took this route is that the other divisions are not playing football so it will be difficult to promote sides that are idle.

The teams are scheduled to play a round-robin competition over six to eight weeks with the top teams from the respective groups progressing to the semi-finals.

The winners will then meet in a final whose venue is yet to be confirmed.

More: Daily News

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